Today is the third anniversary of the Israel’s Operation Cast Lead which severely destroyed Gaza Strip. Israel began an air operation against Gaza Strip, which it blockades from the air and sea, three years ago today. The Israeli operation which targeted both civilian and military areas and later joined by Israeli tanks, which crossed the Gazan border on Jan. 3, ended on Jan. 18. The 22-day-long occupation and bombardments resulted in the killing of at least 1,500 people, 355 of whom were children while 7,000 people were injured and 4,000 houses were demolished by the Israeli attacks.
Civilian targets such as business centers, agricultural fields, greenhouses, animal shelters, irrigation channels, water wells and water pumps were destructed by Israeli missiles, tanks and cluster bombs and phosphorus bombs, the use of which are banned by the Geneva Convention.
Forty-eight percent of the medical institutions were also demolished in the attacks. Eighteen schools, eight of which were kindergartens, were leveled down. At least 280 schools were damaged. Lines transferring energy from Israel and Egypt became no longer usable.
Gaza residents were deprived of water and food for days and they were unable to receive any medical assistance because the Israeli attacks targeted even ambulances. When the Israeli army began to withdraw from Gaza on Jan. 21, it left a damage worth of $1.9 billion behind. Despite the great destruction in Gaza, Israeli failed to achieve any success it desired, making Gaza declare victory at the end of the operation.
The blockade on Gaza Strip still continues today. The apartheid regime which is imposed by Israel on Gaza and Palestine is brought to the world’s attention through meetings, demonstrations across the world and by many other civilian initiatives such as the humanitarian aid flotilla and convoy.